Program Requirements

Director of Graduate Studies

Martin Eisner
Dept. of Romance Studies
07 Languages Building
Box 90257

Admission to the Program in Medieval and Renaissance Studies

The University Program in Medieval and Renaissance Studies offers a Graduate Certificate in Interdisciplinary Medieval and Renaissance Studies; it does not offer a separate graduate degree. All students associated with the program are Ph.D. candidates in traditional Arts and Sciences departments: Art History, Classical Studies, English, Germanic Languages and Literature, History, Literature, Music, Philosophy, Religion, and Romance Studies. Students must apply directly to the Graduate School, and successful applicants are admitted into one of these departments.

Students who plan to work in Medieval and Renaissance Studies should indicate that special interest on their application forms so that participating departments may forward admissable applications to the Program in Medieval and Renaissance Studies. After a student has been admitted to the University, the student should formally contact the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies to become an affiliate. There are currently over fifty graduate students from ten departments across campus affiliated with the Program.

Program Requirements

Graduate students may receive a formal Graduate Certificate in Interdisciplinary Medieval and Renaissance Studies upon successful completion of core program requirements. This Certificate is indicated on the student transcript. The overall aim of the requirements is to involve students in interdisciplinary study, encouraging students to branch out beyond the walls of home departments. Collaboration with students in other Duke departments and with graduate students at the University of North Carolina and elsewhere is emphasized. The following requirements must be fulfilled to obtain the Certificate.

Graduate Certificate in Interdisciplinary Medieval and Renaissance Studies

  1. Complete a dissertation on a topic in Medieval and Renaissance Studies (late antiquity through the seventeenth century, on any region, and in any discipline).

  2. Complete 3 Medieval and Renaissance courses outside of the major department. Courses must be taken for credit. In some cases, courses listed in the student's major department may be counted, as for example when they are team taught by faculty from different disciplines, when they teach research methods or skills relevant to several disciplines, or when they are in a different discipline than that of the student. The DGS must be consulted in every such case.

  3. Attend twelve meetings of the Medieval and Renaissance Studies Colloquium. The purpose of the Colloquium is to encourage students, before the dissertation-writing stage, to interact with students and faculty in Duke departments beyond their own, and to become part of a broader Medieval and Renaissance Studies community at Duke. This colloquium usually meets three times each semester and is led by a range of faculty members or distinguished visiting lecturers. Presenters will have two primary objectives: (a) to introduce students to their current research projects and teaching interests; and (b) to introduce students to the kinds of primary sources and resources in the presenter's area of specialty that may be relevant to a range of Medieval and Renaissance Studies students. Meetings will include informal discussion of the materials and methods of scholarship and other professional issues. The Colloquium, in short, will provide students with substantial faculty resources to whom they may turn as their own research plans develop.

  4. Present a research paper at one of several Medieval and Renaissance workshops, colloquia, or conferences in a local venue. This might include the annual North Carolina Colloquium in Medieval and Early Modern Studies, a graduate student conference organized entirely by Duke and University of North Carolina graduate students; the Triangle-area Medieval Studies Workshop; or any number of other workshops and seminars held on the Duke and UNC campuses. The audiences at these venues will be broad, requiring students to present their research in a way that is relevant to a cross-disciplinary audience.

How to Apply to the Certificate Program

The applicant must submit two forms: (1) an application for the Graduate School; and (2) an application to the Medieval and Renaissance Studies program. Note that both forms should be submitted to the program's associate director at the Center's office. Print off these forms, fill them out, and send them through campus mail.

To help with documenting on the program form the twelve colloquium meetings you attend, see the list of meetings that have been held, along with other meetings that have been approved for this requirement.

Graduate Support

The Program normally awards two substantial dissertation-semester fellowships each year. Occasionally, the Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program is able to provide additional support or travel and research in the dissertation years. Students will normally receive fellowships and other forms of support from their home departments.